“We need to cook cool meals and using the oven is completely forbidden,” wrote a reader named Esmeralda in Madrid in an email last week.
She’s been making creamy salmorejo, a southern Spanish soup related to gazpacho from Córdoba, which gets even hotter than Madrid, according to her.
First and Foremost, The Best Gazpacho
“Best” is a bold claim in a recipe title, but this gazpacho is actually worthy of the accolade. It’s a recipe Julia Moskin picked up while reporting in Seville, Spain, and it’s an olive oil-and-tomato-and-green-pepper-and-garlic concoction. Don’t be stingy with the oil, please? As an early-dinner option, the salad and the bread are substantial but light.
2. Shrimp and Shrimp Spaghetti.
Spaghetti al limone is a dish that is both light and rich at the same time (the lemon flavour that suffuses it). Instead of cream, Lidey Heuck uses butter and Parmesan cheese to make her version of the Italian classic rich and creamy. I’d prefer to eat this at the beach, but I’ll settle for my dining room table for now.
In The Third Place, Mahi Ba Somagh (Sumac Roasted Fish)
Naz Deravian’s sumac and turmeric-based Iranian fish dish is a cinch to make, requiring only oranges and limes. Whole fish that has been butterflied is required for this recipe (or ask a fishmonger to prepare for you). In the event of an emergency, a bland fillet would do just fine as a stand-in.
Dry-Brined Chicken Breasts
Eric Kim’s brining method has transformed the humble chicken breast. It goes well with just about anything, whether it’s a salad or grains. The whole peppercorns can be substituted with some ground pepper instead of a spice grinder (or a mortar and pestle) if you don’t have one.
Guide to Making the Perfect Gazpacho
Leave out the Bread.
White bread is often added to traditional gazpacho to thicken it, but I found that it detracted from the soup’s flavour. The last step of straining the gazpacho through a fine sieve also left me cold.
Produce blended with olive oil creates a thick, creamy emulsion that can be served without straining through a filter.
Because of the use of unprocessed veggies, this quick and simple gazpacho recipe is both gluten-free and high in healthy fibre.
Combining Available Choices
In a rush, or if you prefer your gazpacho completely smooth, you can combine all the ingredients together (see the recipe notes for details on this shortcut).
It’s important to have a little bit of body to the gazpacho for me. Because of this, the recipe calls for you to blitz part of the ingredients into the soup rather than blending them all together.
You could just about incorporate them into the soup, but only if you prefer your gazpacho with some texture.
Gazpacho is Best Served Cold.
The secret to a great gazpacho is at least two hours in the fridge. This allows the soup’s flavours to fully develop and the soup to chill down.
Set aside some of the chopped ingredients to use as a topping for the soup. A little extra work, but well worth it to achieve the stunning results you see here with this gazpacho.
When I visited Madrid a few months ago, I was completely blown away by the quality of the food and the presentation of the dishes.